January 3, 2007 Subject:
This is without a doubt one of the better bootleg recordings available of that bizarrely sui generis virtuoso, Andrew Bird. The acoustics are highly conducive to protracted bowing solos, although the reverb slightly dampens the crispness of the pizzicato. Included is probably the best recorded version of "Water Jet Cilice" yet (far exceeding the Fingerlings version, although that has the charm of having been recorded outside of Bird's rustic Illinois home), as well as the only decent live version of "Plasticities". The looping for "Capital I" is accidentally screwed up in the early moments of the song, prompting Bird to claim with slight disconcertion that the mystery (Bird's driving creative energy, his afflatus) had been spoiled; he quickly makes recompense with rapid, masterful plucking. The sole fault of the recording consists in the fact that one can hear the audience members chattering at times. I'm not sure why anyone would compromise his or her ability to aurally quaff the quirk and thrill of Bird's genius by engaging in banal prattle; then again, when I saw Bird, the girls behind me couldn't stop waxing poetical over his physique, which, I concur, is a very nice object of rapturous staring.